Can Medical Cannabis Help Treat Anxiety
Australian Access Clinics
Although medical cannabis has often been used to treat anxiety, a history of misrepresentations, misunderstandings and misinterpretations clouds public perception of cannabis.
This has resulted in cannabis being perceived as an addictive hippie drug that leads to the use and abuse of more severe substances.
Nevertheless, an increasing number of people are beginning to use medical cannabis to help manage their anxiety and depression but what does the science say?
Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can cause many symptoms that interfere with your everyday functioning, including:
- Episodes of severe anxiety or fear that cause intense reactions like rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea or sweating
- Racing or pounding heartbeat
- Inability to concentrate
The combination of symptoms you have and their intensity can vary depending on the nature of your anxiety disorder. Just because you dont experience these exact symptoms doesnt mean you dont have an anxiety disorder only an experienced mental health professional can provide a proper diagnosis.
Medical Marijuana Card For Anxiety In Pa
You can get a medical marijuana card for anxiety in Pennsylvania if you have an appropriate clinical diagnosis. The Pennsylvania Department of Health recognizes anxiety disorders among its list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. The primary anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder
In order to obtain your medical marijuana card, youll need to meet some basic qualifications. First, you must be a legal Pennsylvania resident. Minors can qualify for the program, but patients under the age of 18 must have a parent apply as a caregiver on their behalf.
Most importantly, you must have a clinically recognized anxiety disorder. Everyone experiences generalized anxiety from time to time, but the National Institute of Mental Health has specific guidelines for what constitutes an anxiety disorder. For example, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is broadly defined as excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances.
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Need A Medical Marijuana Card In Maryland
Need help getting your marijuana card but need a licensed medical marijuana doctor in Maryland? Dont sweat reach out to us at 443-536-2681 or email us at anytime for a FREE 10-15 minute phone consultation a licensed medical marijuana specialist!
Please keep in mind that none of the above legal references should be interpreted as legal advice. Maryland Grreenscript Cannabis is not responsible for any harm done in reference to this article. Our goal is to only provide education and guidance on an otherwise very difficult to understand realm of regulation.
First Is Medical Marijuana For Anxiety Legal
As some of you already know, in Colorado, you cannot get your medical card without the permission of a doctor. Due to state regulations, to use medical marijuana, you must have a qualifying condition and anxiety, as of right now, is not listed as one of these conditions. However, many patients use medical marijuana for their anxiety, and although it is not one of the qualifying conditions at the time of writing this, this should not deter you from trying to get your card for several reasons.
There are a multitude of reasons why patient suffer anxiety on a daily basis. Some suffer from PTSD or have experienced Trauma of some sort. Others have intense pain which fuels their anxiety with the pressure of doing daily tasks. If your anxiety is a product of any of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, then you will be able to get approved by MMJ doctor.
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The Difference Between Anxiety And Stress
An added complication, according to Tishler, is that cannabis users are often confused when it comes to differentiating between anxiety and stress.
Stress is an emotion triggered by difficult situations, such as the breakdown of a relationship. Anxiety arises when sufferers are overcome with feelings of distress for no apparent reason.
Tishler says that many people self-medicate for anxiety when they are suffering from stress. Self-medicating with cannabis could provide users with a buffer to avoid taking action to improve their lives.
Tishler says medical cannabis can be an effective anxiety treatment especially useful when taken in small dosages before going to bed. This can create an effect that outlasts any intoxication.
People who use cannabis with THC throughout the day need to make sure they are using it responsibly and ensuring they dont become dependent and unproductive.
In practice in Australia, most patients who use medical cannabis to reduce anxiety are prescribed CBD dominant medication with little or no THC in the product, so this risk is reduced.
However there is no set formulation and treatment is very individualized. While THC can cause increased anxiety in some patients, for others it can help reduce anxiety.
Russ 39 Tallahassee Medical Marijuana Clinic
Russ, 39Tallahassee medical marijuana doctor 4 months on medical cannabis PTSD, severe physical trauma to back Previously treated with mood stabilizers Excerpt: “I took 9-10 pills in the morning and another handful like that every night. Since I’ve come here, I don’t take any of those pills in the morning. I…
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How Is An Anxiety Disorder Diagnosed
Anxiety disorder is a clinical diagnosis and is usually given by a doctor or psychiatrist. Your healthcare professional will talk to you about your anxiety and go through a questionnaire which is part of the DMS-5, a physicians guide to diagnosing mental health disorders.
Anxiety becomes a clinical diagnosis when your symptoms have been occurring more days than not for at least 6 months. It must be affecting a number of events or activities and it must not be better explained by another medical condition like thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disorders or other chronic diseases.
How Do You Get Medical Marijuana For Your Anxiety As A Teen
The chief problem with getting medical Marijuana in any circumstance is the difference between state and federal rules concerning Marijuana.
Federally speaking, Marijuana is still an illegal substance, despite the fact that it has a number of useful medicinal properties. However, ten states have legalized Marijuana for recreational use and thirty-three states have legalized it for the purpose of medical treatment.
While this is good news for you if you live in a US state that allows medical Marijuana , it doesnt help you with regards to your age.
The critical issue with regard to medicine in the United States is one of consent as a teenager, you do not technically have the ability to decide consent for yourself. This is further complicated by individual states definitions of consent, as well as their individual definitions for the proper age of consent for medicine.
What all this boils down to is that, while you likely will still be able to get access to medical Marijuana to treat Anxiety, it is possible that you are going to need your parents permission to do so.
In some states, physicians have the ability to prescribe medical Marijuana to under-age patients without parental permission, but in the majority of the states that allow medical Marijuana, they require explicit permission from your legal guardians in a few states, it has to be the guardian who actually fills and repeats the prescription, not you.
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As Minnesota Considers Qualifying Anxiety For Its Medical Cannabis Program Psychiatrists Raise Concerns
Earlier this month, the Minnesota Psychiatric Society released a position paper opposing authorization of medical cannabis as a treatment for all anxiety disorders.
Ever since the State of Minnesota legalized medical cannabis, petitions have been sent to the Department of Health with one request: Certify generalized anxiety disorder as a condition qualified for treatment.
Over the years, the petitions have been reviewed, and last year a collection was presented to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. Because of departmental concern about a lack of engagement with the medical community, the petitions were denied.
Popular support for the certification of medical cannabis as a treatment for anxiety has run high since the Office of Medical Cannabis was founded in 2015, Tholkes said. Last year we were in the position where we got hundreds of comments from layfolks that said, Yes, please add anxiety, and one letter from a psychiatrist that said, Dont do that, Tholkes said. It left us with no real answers about what the medical community feels.
That has changed. This spring, in order to get a better idea of where the states medical professionals stand on the issue, Tholkes and her staff assembled a working group of seven mental health and addiction professionals to review the literature, speak with representatives from Minnesotas medical cannabis industry and compile an official report for her office.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help Treat Anxiety
Research into the use of marijuana for treating anxiety and its associated symptoms has found promise for its use as a substitute for pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines. Like these pharmaceuticals, medical marijuana may positively affect levels of GABA in the body and brain, a neurotransmitter associated with balancing mood and regulating anxiety. Unlike benzodiazepine, however, medical marijuana has not been found to produce a tolerance in people using it or cause death from overdosing on it.
Researchers have also found that medical marijuana can lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a neurotransmitter associated with stress, including emotional stress, such as in cases of anxiety. When under stress, cortisol levels are higher. Lowering cortisol levels, therefore, can help to reduce stress, commonly associated with anxiety.
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How To Get A Medical Card For Anxiety In Pa
To obtain a medical card for anxiety in PA, the first step is to schedule a physicians evaluation. You can only obtain a medical marijuana card if you have a recommendation from a physician who is licensed to certify cannabis patients in Pennsylvania.
You can obtain your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card online via telemedicine. Just schedule your appointment and speak to a physician virtually via your smartphone or PC. Youll need to provide your legal Pennsylvania ID along with any medical records related to your anxiety diagnosis. Valid records may include doctors notes, written medical documentation, or old prescription bottles for an anxiety-related drug like Xanax, Klonopin, or Ativan.
If you qualify as a patient with an anxiety disorder, youll receive a written certification from the physician. Once you have your recommendation, proceed to the Pennsylvania Department of Health website, complete the application, and pay the $50 registration fee. It should take 7 to 10 days to process your application.
What Form Of Medical Cannabis Works Best
Maryland medical cannabis comes in several different forms, but the two most common types are flower or concentrates.
Smoking marijuana is probably the most common and popular way to use medical cannabis. This method releases the THC and other cannabinoids in the plant like CBD into your lungs by heating it up. It is a quick and effective way to deliver nearly immediate results from medical cannabis. Of course, the drawbacks to smoking anything are that you are smoking. This could have its own health side effects and some patients just do not enjoy the act of smoking.
Another way to consume medical cannabis is through concentrates. Concentrates is a broad term that describes many different types of medical cannabis, but they include things such as oils, vape products, and more. While each clearly has differences in the way you consume them, how they look, or taste the basic idea behind each is the same. They all are products derived from medical marijuana and that offer more cannabinoids per unit compared to the plant in its natural state.
The benefits to concentrates are that they do not require you to smoke cannabis, which some patients cannot for a variety of reasons. In addition, they are a more concentrated form of THC, which means they can potentially deliver stronger results.
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Medical Marijuana: An Effective Part Of Anxiety Treatment
Treating anxiety often requires a multi-faceted approach that includes medication, therapy, and active coping practices.
Medical marijuana combined with CBD, taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional who specializes in the use of therapeutic cannabis, could give you the space and wherewithal you need to take deep breaths and practice your coping skills.
Qualifying Conditions In Arizona With Symptoms Of Anxiety
Medical marijuana provides benefits for many different anxiety-related conditions. So, while anxiety may not be listed as one of the qualifying conditions for receiving an Arizona medical card, if your anxiety occurs as the consequence of any of these conditions or their treatment, you can still qualify for that card:
- Alzheimers disease agitation
- HIV-positive status
- Hepatitis C
Whats more, Arizona issues medical marijuana cards to patients with any medical condition that has certain symptoms, namely:
- Chronic pain
- Persistent or severe muscle spasms, such as those associated with multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Severe nausea
- Wasting syndrome
Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms as a result of any other medical condition, you can still qualify for a medical card in Arizona as well.
Finally, note that Arizona is still adding new conditions to its list of those that qualify for legal medical marijuana in the state. Every year, you can petition the Arizona Department of Health Services to add a new qualifying condition like Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder or Panic Attacks to the list.
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When Is Anxiety A Disorder
When these feelings are persistent without being triggered by any real danger, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are characterized by a long-term sense of anxiety that does not go away when stressful events subside. They may also include negative stressful reactions that are overblown in comparison to the situation.
Cannabis Researchs Vicious Cycle
The relative lack of marijuana research as compared to pharmaceutical findings leads to what one scientist has called a vicious cycle, where medical progress becomes hampered by legislative bodies who buy into stigmas and fears. Thats another reason why cannabis studies verifying the results of earlier research are important politically.
The vicious cycle of cannabis studies and the need to break it in order to improve marijuana laws was described by Dr. Staci Gruber, a Harvard researcher and the head of the nonprofit .
According to Dr. Gruber, lawmakers often turn to expert testimony to help them craft health and medicine related legislation. Unfortunately, due to the bottlenecked, limited nature of current cannabis research, scientists are often less comfortable making conclusive claims about medical marijuana than they are about much more widely researched pharmaceuticals.
So legislators want complete scientific proof before loosening marijuana prohibitions, but researchers need marijuana prohibitions loosened before they can find complete scientific proof.
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